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What to do with Marshall

Sheep (and Dustin)

Let me tell you a story (“an account of past events in someone’s life or in the evolution of something” Oxford dictionary) of a Firefighter, for this story lets call him “Marshall” (pun intended). Marshall was a very good, and committed firefighter, he has spent his whole life being what he wanted to be from the very first time he became aware of firefighters. He knew that this job was dangerous, hard, scary, necessary, and rewarding. He dreamt of it as a child and mimicked what he thought he would one day be doing. All other pursuits were dust in the wind compared to being a fireman.

The story is actually quite short and simple. Marshall became a firefighter ASAP and never turned back.  He learned all about the equipment, took all the training courses, went to every call he could. Marshall was so committed that he even began helping others, men and women, learn how to be a life saving firefighter. He taught classes, burned the midnight oil training others. He encouraged others when they were down. Followed the young ones to make sure they were safe. He even loved talking to others about becoming a firefighter because he truly believed it was a good and noble career.

This story does not have a “one day”, or “it all began on a hollowed night”. Not even a “this is where it all began”. This is a story that comes to you right now as the day goes on in routine and procedure. Waiting for the next call, washing dishes, waxing trucks, folding hoses. You see Marshall “is” a firefighter. There is no event that this story covers. “But”, there is a point to it.

Over the years Marshall has seen it all and been there from start to end. He has learned, loved, hurt, healed, lifted and has fallen. He has saved people and watched people die. There have been times when he had to watch someone’s life burn in flames and could do nothing to stop the inevitable. Marshall does not do what he does because the pay is good or for glory. He does it because it is good and right. It is who he is, not what he gets. There have been days when Marshall had to make a person hurt more just to save their life. 

What is interesting is to think of all the people Marshall has helped over the decades. Who they have become in spite of their loss or because of their trial. What their losses did to their soul. What their heroism did to save them from emptiness. To observe a person show the greatest courage or humbling fear when faced with death. To be changed every day by what he sees. It must be that Marshall leaves his home and “never returns” because he is a changed man every time the call comes in. Today we lost them all, tomorrow we will save just one???

“Thank you Marshall” quivered out by the mother who still has her baby for another day. “Are you really going back in there”? Asked the trainee who has never felt he heat from a two story house engulfed in flames. The brother who curses Marshall for saving him and not his little sister. “Who started this fire that destroyed my whole life, why didn’t you come sooner!!!! “Look at that firefighter Timmy, why won’t he help them, says the observer who knows nothing of safety and risks no death. “Who carried me out?” Asked the new dad as he lays in bed with 3rd degree on half his body. 

These are the things that Marshall hears. These are the things that he knows but never gets to answer. He battles, fights, fears, regrets, and then does it all over the next day. He runs in never knowing if he will walk out, or if he will have to be carried out. Will I see my wife and kids again. Will I have to choose this strangers life over mine? Marshall does what 99% of us will not do nor knows how to do. He is always ready and never not. He saves the ones who don’t want saving and comforts those who cannot be comforted. 

Jesus is the one who pulls us out of the fire, some of us thank Him, some of us hate Him, some of us don’t even take the time to know who it is that saved us. We are the people that Jesus saves. He gave, gives, will always give. He loves us so much He will cause us more pain then we think we can handle so we don’t die in the Hell we want back into. He is loved by few, cursed by many. He does not do it because He gets paid, He does it because it is right and good. 

Do you ever stand on the sidewalk and whisper about how He is doing it wrong, as if you know more then Him? Do you pull out your phone to record what is going on while the home owners watch their whole world burn? Have you ever thanked Him, learned from Him, followed in His footsteps? Have you ever taken the time to learn what He has to teach? Hell is a house on fire, Jesus is the firefighter, you are the resident. 

Think about it.

Jude 1:23

DIRECTIONS & CONTACT

Our facilities are newly located on Oshkosh Street across from Hillside Dental, right next to the walking trail in what was formerly the Affinity Clinic. 635 W Oshkosh St, Ripon, WI

Phone: 920-748-3936

Email: pastor@riponbaptistchurch.org

© 2020 Ripon Baptist Church. 635 W Oshosh St, Ripon, WI 54971